I have made the sensible decision to take a few days off work lately. Not because I necessarily have anything on, (although I do now) but because its sometimes easier to catch up on stuff (research) with no school next morning. Also, I wondered whether some surprise beery event might appear on my radar last minute so I wanted to be primed for such a happenstance. As it was I had a wander around Sheffield and enjoyed some great pints along the way.
I started the day at the Anglers Rest as I mentioned yesterday, and then after dinner headed into town and oop Ecclesall road way. I dallied with the idea of popping into the Ecclesall, formerly the Pomona, but it didn't tempt. Instead, based on the excellent beers on my last visit (and those advertised as coming soon) I headed up to the Lescar.
I was in around dinner and it was pleasingly quiet. With diners creating an olfactory distraction in the front I went to sit in the back looking at the bar, taking my pint and essential crisps with me. I say essential because, at approximately £1..20 a bag (60p at my local shop, nice mark up!) they would have to be pretty damned good. Instead they were OK - but this is interesting, because although the Lescar has hardly been cheap (or often sure if its own prices), the beer hasn't really gone up since last summer. I know its difficult to compare when you are almost always on guests but in general it seems to be £3.05 - 3.10 a pint. No more galling than usual.
The beer I had was the excellent Windsor and Eton brewery Knight of the Garter, a 3.8% golden ale with a pleasing malt and subtle balancing hoppinesss. I would have stayed on this all day but I had my eye on two others in a range of six (or seven, if Moonshine is back and front bar), including Brew Company Blackout stout, which having just seen the ingredients on the tinterweb I wished I had tried.
The reason I didn't was that I was smitten instead with the Moor Brewing Company Somerland Gold, a refreshing 5.0% golden beer that I had tasted in bottle back in March (funnily enough it was bottle conditioned). This was a delightfully rounded, dry bitter beer which went down very well. Too well, as is the technical term. The addition of wheat malt was noticeable (although I kind of remembered it from the beer tasting as well), and this probably made it that little bit extra tasty.
All too soon I had to leave and as you know from my earlier post I was in Shakespeares next with my dear friend Middlemarch. After she had left, I quickly finished up and headed for the Cat for a pork pie. Not only a pork pie you understand, that would be weird. I also had a pint of Pennine Brewery mild, the actual identity of which is proving very difficult since my notes say just that, and stupid arse Internet Explorer is playing silly buggers. Out of interest, following some confusion regarding the former Porter Brewery, it appears this Pennine is newly formed in 2012 and based near Batley, not in Haslingden like Porter (Pennine) - hope that's clear!
Never mind though it was very enjoyable and despite suddenly becoming nesh I sat outside near a heated light with a couple (until that point!) enjoying an evening of imbibing in the beer garden. I had wanted to stand inside but it was so packed that even standing was too much of an ask, so I braved it for a bit, before giving in on finishing my pint and going to stand behind beer legend Martin at the bar.
Here I had a chat about the Bath Hotel with Martin and a former regular, and had a very nice half of Navigation Pale to finish off my super busy Cat visit. The pale was refreshing but lacked the oomph and quality of their dark beers at Shakespeares.
My last port of call was the Kelham Island Tavern where I started very sensibly with a half of the Derby Brewing Co Penny's Porter, a very enjoyable luscious dark brew as recommended by Mr W. I also had chance to nibble a much needed sandwich and relax, before I felt compelled to see what else was on offer.
So it was that my last of the night was a pint of the excellent Banks and Taylors Edwin Taylors Extra Stout, one of my long tome favourite dark beers which did not disappoint. This was a fantastic end to a long day of great beer and great company in some of Sheffield's best pubs.